Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Steller's Corn Patch

During the winter and early spring months, I like to put seed out for the birds, because there is very little for them to eat at that time.
I also have squirrel visitors so I made a gadget to put a cob of dried corn on. It is just a piece of 1x4 with a long nail driven through the center and attached to my deck rail with a bungee. The soft center part of the cob slides nicely onto the nail. It wasn't long before the Squirrel's were sharing their corn with the Steller's Jays
I have enjoyed watching the many different kinds of birds who come to dine at Mountain Mama's 'Fly-Inn' and the acrobatic Squirrels are hillarious.
At the bird feeder I generally have sparrow's, chicadee's, flicker's, Varied Thrush, Rufus Sided Towhee, Grosbeak, Steller's Jay's and many others.
This post is about the Steller's.
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I borrowed this picture.

As you may know, Steller's Jay's are notorious for 'stashing' food. I have seen crows do this too. They get a beak full, and stuff it under a pile of leaves, at the base of plants or what have you. They are saving it for later but they generally forget about it, then field mice have a feast.
Or as in this case, grow their own garden.

I did not know the Steller's Jay's were doing this until later in the spring, when I noticed what looked like three corn seedlings growing from a long flower planter. Because I love surprises, and growing things, I just let them grow and sure enough, It was corn. It seemed to be doing fairly well so I let it go all summer, watering occassionally when I watered my gardens. The miracle of this is the fact that the soil in the planter was totally depleted, I doubt it could have grown a dandelion!

The Steller's corn did very well, and developed large full ears.
What is more surprising about this is the fact that they planted it in a neat row.
I suppose they must have been watching me plant corn in my garden and learned from what they saw. :)
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If you look behind the snapdragon's, in the brown planter box, you will see the Steller's Corn Patch.